15 Shades of Summer

1. Millennial Pink
We’ve come a long way from loud, in-your-face acid pop pink. Pink will always remain a deliciously controversial colour, but this time it is in the sophistication of Millennial Pink, which has come to stay. Fleshy, fresh millennial pink is elegant, adventurous and just the right shade of versatile. Use it to soothe your space into a relaxed ambience, or to simultaneously contrast and complement a muted palette.

Marc Lange's millenial pink installation at the Salone del Mobile was the most instagrammed

Marc Lange’s millenial pink installation at the Salone del Mobile was the most instagrammed installation

2. Island Paradise
Named so for its visual associations with a delightful marine Eden, this colour seems to float the intimate feel of an island paradise into any room. Add a few accessories in this shade, to channel the happy-go-lucky, easy lifestyle of a small-world, seaside paradise. No wonder the colour is becoming a special favorite with cafes and other unique spaces created by an upcoming group of independent restaurateurs.


3. Honey Yellow
This shade has always been a personal favorite, even if I couldn’t quite put a name to it. It’s mellow gold tones radiate a calm energy, filtering out the relentless blaze of sunshine yellow. This also explains its popularity with all ages.


4. Flame Orange
Flame was a serial hit on the Spring-Summer runways in New York. Closer home, the colour presents inevitable sinister associations with the loaded saffron, and can perhaps be used as ironic re-appropriation!

5.Tropical Green

Reminiscent of the lush foliage of tropical rainforests, this green has a warm, olive base, and yet it is not swampy enough to overwhelm. Use it in swathes and hints to compliment a purple or blue palette. A great way to incorporate this colour is to add natural doses of it, in the form of broad leaved palms, or even areca palms.


6. Cherry Blossom Red
Lighter than plum, and cooler than poster red, cherry red is a rich, rich addition to any palette. That said, it adds lovely character to a white or off white palette. Don’t you just love it when the furniture matches your lipstick?


7. Ultramarine Blue
Once the most expensive pigment on the planet, ultramarine blue still wears all the pride of being the truffle in a painter’s plate. Once it was successfully synthesised artificially (amidst great controversy), ultramarine blue is still timeless in it’s oversaturated depth, and one of the most powerful colours to grace the threshold of human perception. And, if anything, the modern version is purer than its semi-precious counterpart, which, in the process of being extracted from lapis lazuli, retained all kinds of mineral deposits. Notably, Lapis Blue, which is (unsurprisingly) close to ultramarine, is also becoming a favorite.
ultramarine blue“Among the ancient elements,” writes William Gass in his treatise On Being Blue, “blue occurs everywhere: in ice and water, in the flame as purely as in the flower, overheard and inside caves, covering fruit and oozing out of clay.”


8. Matte Purple
Matte is texture not colour, you can argue, but you can’t deny the makeover purple goes through when married to matte- a rich, deep tone that is somehow warmer.


9. Hazelnut
Hazelnut is browner than coffee and pinker than sepia, hazelnut shades are poised enough to stay in the background, and let the rest of your accessories to stand out. Perfect if you want an earthy complement to your art.


10. Sepia
The quintessential brown, sepia is great for someone who really wants to get down into the earthy tones.


11. Deep Salmon
This is the huskier, sexier cousin of peachy salmon. It’s bloody tones exude a fecund appeal best paired with gold.

12. Peridot
Peridot is formed of fire, synthesised into existance in the sweaty chambers of the earth’s inner crust, amidst a flurry of volcanic activity. The colour of this semi-precious stone bears a fiery reminder of its origins in its yellow-brown tints. An earthier alternative to tropical green, if that’s what you’re looking for.


13. Viridian
Viridian is both glass and water at once, clear yet impenetrable. Too much, however, can yield a strangely sterile and damp ambience, so use it well.

phthalo greens & viridian

14. Wild Strawberry
With deep notes that are at once fresh, wild strawberry is a dewey dream of a colour.


15. Violet Verbena
Lavenders and purples are generally making a comeback this season. PPG paints nominated this moody, grey-toned lavender the colour of the year.


There’s a little something here for everyone. And you know that you can transform a room by just adding one couch in your favorite pink, or painting over one of the four walls. You know what works best for you, so don’t you hold back!



Faustina Johnson

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